It's an exceedingly simple solution, Instead of caustic cleaning chemicals, the campus now sparkles because of tap water and a pinch of salt.
It’s called “Orbio” water and it now fills most of the spray bottles and cleaning machines used on campus. “It’s a fantastic cleaner and it’s much better for the environment,” said John Jepsen, regional manager at Crothall Healthcare Services, who directs the housekeeping services for UMass Medical School and the UMass Memorial Medical Center.
A product of Orbio Technologies, the solution is tap water mixed with a small amount of salt then electrolyzed, meaning it’s passed through an electrical field that separates the water into its positive and negatively charged molecules. The positive water becomes a common daily-use cleaner. An Orbio machine installed on campus makes the cleaning solution on site. Staff fill their spray bottles and cleaning machines with a hose and nozzle, like pulling up to the pump at a self-service gas station.
“Most of the dirt we deal with, or that you have at home for that matter, is oil based. This product cuts right through it,” Jepsen said.
Orbio water is used on nearly all the hard surfaces on campus, including floors, walls, windows, tables as well as carpets. Certain areas, primarily rest rooms and patient areas, are also cleaned with standard disinfectants and antimicrobial solutions.
Since transitioning to Orbio water in 2014, the school and medical center have avoided the use of tens of thousands of gallons of cleaning chemicals, Jepsen said. “I did some calculations, and just for the Sherman Center, we have eliminated enough chemicals to fill four, 18-foot diameter swimming pools every year.”
Members of the campus housekeeping team demonstrated the Orbio water’s ability to break down oil at the Earth Day celebration on April 21, 2016. Check out the video.